Birdseed is the brain-child and passionate journey of Jennifer Pollard
I’ve had a long interest in all things relating to whole and raw foods. Around 18 years ago, I purchased my first grinder – second-hand from an ad in the Melbourne Trading Post. It was a hand-driven Retsel stone-grinding mill. I bought as many grains as I could find and was enthralled by the flours that I ground (very slowly) on my little Retsel. The flours were so alive, so robust and smelt and tasted delicious. This intrigue in grains and grinding quickly turned into an obsession, and I soon turned all my attention to the little gluten free “bird seed” grains: millet, quinoa, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, teff and Job’s tears. It seemed incredible to me that these tiny powerhouses of nutrition are eaten daily in many countries throughout the world, and yet, they are generally destined to be hung in a budgie’s cage or scattered on the ground for chooks to scratch at in AustraliIa.
In 2008, Birdseed was hatched. My aim was to develop foods using the little bird seed grains that were scrumptious, but at the same time good for you. Over the past 8 years, I have studied and played with the grains, seeds and beans to learn more about their individual and combined qualities. I don’t find the lack of gluten in these grains a disadvantage, but rather see it as an adventure to discover ways in which the grains can be used to create exciting foods that nourish the belly and tickle the tongue.
I still grind all my flours from grain, only they are now are milled fresh on a dedicated wheat and gluten free micronise grinder – it’s a lot faster and the resultant flour is much finer and easier to work with than stone-ground. The bird seed grain flours are then blended with freshly ground bean flours and starches to create a range of light, workable, tasty, healthy flour options for baking and cooking.
From 2008 to 2015 Birdseed’s products were available commercially through the Birdseed Cafe and Kitchen in Launceston (2013 to 2015) and through markets various wholesalers (2008 to 2015). During this time, I was able to hone my skills as a baker, as well as develop and increase my understanding of nutritional medicine. In 2009, I commenced an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine through the Australian Institute of Applied Science. I am progressing well with the course and am set to finish by mid-2018; I’m looking forward to using my knowledge and skills to assist people in their nutritional journey to a stronger, healthier body.
While Birdseed’s recipes archive has grown and diversified, my aim has remained constant, to showcase the bird seed grains singularly and in combination to make the most of their highly nutritious, low GI, gluten free properties. Coming in 2017 will be a range of e-cookery books (and hard copy books – hopefully) showcasing “Birdseed Cafe Favourites” and “Birdseed Healthy Tweets”.
My Birdseed kitchen is now a teeny-tiny closet kitchen and is located in the lovely old town of Launceston. Regular updates and information about Birdseed activities and products are posted on this website, and also on Birdseed’s FaceBook page and Instagram account. If you’d like more information, please click on the Enquires tab and send an email, or phone: 0404 411 058 for a chat.